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  • The Bickel Law Firm

    Experienced Lemon Law Attorneys
    Serving All of California

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Experienced Lemon Law Attorneys

Serving All of California

California Lemon Law Attorneys

California's Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, commonly referred to as the California Lemon Law, was enacted in order to provide relief to buyers of problematic vehicles. Generally, the California Lemon Law applies to vehicles which the auto dealerships have been unable to repair within the warranty period after being given a reasonable number of opportunities. For qualifying vehicles, the automobile manufacturer must give the buyer his or her money back and pay off the outstanding loan balance or replace the vehicle with a comparable model.

The California Lemon Law also requires that the automobile manufacturer pay for the consumer's hourly attorney's fees on a meritorious claim. This makes the law economically feasible for those who would otherwise not be in a position to hire an attorney.

:: California Lemon Law FAQs

:: Attorney's Fees and the California Lemon Law

 

Our California Lemon Law Attorneys

Bickel Sannipoli APC is a statewide practice that provides free case evaluation, document review, and attorney consultation regarding consumers' rights under the California Lemon Law. Either in person or over the phone, we will fully explain the pertinent legal issues and procedures to you at no charge. After consulting with our office, you will likely have a better understanding of the merits of your case and of what is involved in the California Lemon Law process.

Our attorneys place a premium on client communication and awareness and adhere to the highest ethical standards in the prosecution and resolution of all California Lemon Law claims. Should you retain our services, your case will be handled professionally and aggressively with the ultimate goal to reach a swift and prosperous conclusion.

:: More About Our California Lemon Law Attorneys

:: Our Statewide California Lemon Law Lawyer Services

Our Law Firm Answers Your Questions About the California Lemon Law 

It’s best to contact an attorney for a free consultation if you think you may have a California Lemon Law claim. In the meantime, review the following FAQs to better understand the California Lemon Law.

What makes a car a “Lemon?”

If a car has a defect covered under warranty which cannot be repaired after a reasonable number of attempts, it may qualify as a Lemon under the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, California’s Lemon Law.

What is the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act?

The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act was enacted as a California consumer protection measure in 1970. Song-Beverly is one of the strongest and most consumer-friendly state Lemon Law statutes in the United States today. The Act requires manufacturers of cars and other consumer goods to repurchase defective products that they have been unable to repair after a reasonable number of warranty repair attempts.

How do I know if I have a Lemon Law case?

Your vehicle may qualify under the Lemon Law if it:

  • Suffers from a defect covered under warranty; and
  • The manufacturer or its dealerships are unable to repair the defect after a reasonable number of opportunities.

How many repair visits are required under the Lemon Law?

California’s Lemon Law does not require a set number of repair visits, only that the manufacturer failed to repair the vehicle after a “reasonable” number of opportunities. In some cases, even one visit may qualify if the proper measures are followed.

Factors to consider in assessing whether a reasonable number of visits have been performed:

  • The number of times the vehicle has been presented for repair of the defect (that the dealership actually performed repairs is not required);
  • The nature and severity of the defect;
  • The cumulative number of days the vehicle has been the shop for warranty repair of the defect; and
  • The manufacturer’s internal documentation regarding the defect.

Most often, no more than four visits will be required to meet the burden, but oftentimes, fewer than four visits will be enough.

How long does the claim process take at your Lemon Law firm?

We cannot legally guarantee an outcome by time or result under State Bar guidelines. Most Lemon Law cases will take a matter of months to resolve. The length of time will largely depend on the strength of the case and which manufacturer is defending the claim. As a part of your free consultation, we can give you a better idea as to how assertively a particular manufacturer tends to pursue early settlement.

What happens if your Lemon Law claim is successful?

If your vehicle qualifies for repurchase under the California Lemon Law, you will be entitled to restitution from the manufacturer.

Restitution on a Lemon Law claim includes: 

  • Refund of Down Payment and Monthly Car Payments: A repurchase includes a refund of your down payment and monthly car payments made. From the refund, the manufacturer will receive a statutory credit for the good use you got from the vehicle before you first presented it for repair of the defect.
  • Incidental Damages: Incidental damages can include out-of-pocket costs of repair, rental car expenses, and applicable towing expenses related to the defect.
  • Vehicle Loan or Lease Payoff: The manufacturer will pay the outstanding balance on your vehicle loan or lease.
  • Return of the Vehicle: You will return the defective vehicle to the manufacturer.

Is my leased vehicle covered by the California Lemon Law?

Yes, under California Civil Code § 1795.4, the protections of the California Lemon Law expressly apply to leased vehicles.

Restitution on a lease will be similar to that of purchased vehicles, including refund of the lease inception payment, monthly payments, and incidental damages less a mileage offset credit to the manufacturer. Restitution will also include payoff of the lease and the return of the vehicle to the manufacturer in the event the vehicle has not already been returned under the lease.

Does the California Lemon Law apply to used vehicle?

Yes, the California Lemon Law applies to used vehicles so long as they are covered by a warranty. Vehicles sold used but still covered by the original manufacturer’s warranty and vehicles sold with Certified Pre-Owned Warranties will have Lemon Law protection.

Do I really need a Lemon Law firm?

Instead of offering a repurchase, many manufacturers will refer consumers without legal counsel to their arbitration program when Lemon Law relief is requested. However, there is no obligation that a consumer participate in arbitration before pursuing a claim, and the arbitration programs are oftentimes biased in favor of the manufacturers.

Other times, manufacturers will offer consumers what they call a repurchase, but the refund will be short thousands of dollars of the actual statutory entitlement. Without being versed in the calculation of Lemon Law damages, a consumer has no way of knowing if an offer is being made in good faith and in the correct amount, and they will have no recourse if a manufacturer refuses to offer more.

For these reasons, it is best to hire a Lemon Law firm to pursue your rights. A Lemon Law firm will be able to ensure that the proper recovery is being obtained and to aid you through the entire process, including the post-settlement vehicle surrender.

How much does hiring a Lemon Law attorney cost?

At Bickel Sannipoli, we work on a contingency basis. That is, we collect our hourly fees and costs from the manufacturer as a part of the settlement. If we are unable to obtain a recovery, we will not be paid, and you will not owe us anything. There are no up-front fees, and we advance litigation costs on our clients’ behalf.

Our consultations are free, and you will have the opportunity to review an itemization of the net recovery we will be seeking on your behalf before you agree to retain us as your counsel.

Can I meet with the California Lemon Law Attorneys at Bickel Sannipoli APC remotely?

Yes, our consultations are conducted by phone and email. If an in-person meeting is required during the course of litigation, we will travel to you at no cost. Our Lemon Law firm serves all California residents.

Hear What Our Clients Have To Say

"It took over a year but it got completed the way I had hoped from the beginning. These guys are professional keep you involved and educated throughout the entire process. They also maintain constant pressure on the manufacture. I could not of chosen a better firm to represent me. Thanks Bickel and more specifically Eric Young!"
Posted By: Kareem H

BICKEL SANNIPOLI APC